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Exwick - photos of a village

Page updated 19th January 2015

The first of hopefully several local pages for the different areas of Exeter. If you have a photo that would be suitable for inclusion on the page, or know more about one of the photographs, please email me. Jointly produced with the Exwick Local History Group. The Group is a loose association of members that exist to research, record and disseminate the history of Exwick through occasional talks, walks and displays of photographs and other artefacts for the public. Contact me if you would like to know more about the group.

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100 year old Clara KellandInterior of St Andrews ChurchThe photo of the interior of the church was taken to show it dressed for the marriage of Frank and Clara Kelland on the 13th April 1936. The couple lived in Ewhurst Villa in Exwick Road. In 1986, Frank found fame when he broke the world record for growing a sunflower at his house - the plant reached 23 ft 6.5 inch (7.17 metres). The couple had 2 children, 5 grand-children and 7 great grand-children. Clara celebrated her 100th birthday in November 2009 when she received 99 cards plus one from the Queen. She died in December 2010 aged 101.

Tree surgeons at workThe Exwick YewThis Cedar of Lebanon in Station Road (left) grows in St Andrews Churchyard. Thought to have been planted in 1870 when the church was extended, the branches have spread across the road over the years and become a danger to traffic. In July 2010, an appeal was made by Roy Hurford, the church warden, for funds to pay for it to be pruned, which was estimated to be £2,000. Councillor Rob Hannaford awarded a grant towards the work from his delegated budget. A further £50 was donated by a couple who had married in the church. On 24th January 2011, Dartmoor Tree Surgeons Ltd partly closed the road and removed the dangerous branches (right).

Lamb Inn 1965NEW Lamb Inn outing 1965. The customers of the Lamb Inn line up for a photo before embarking on a day trip to some exotic Devon destination. Photo courtesy of Yvonne Small.

Lamb Inn, laundry and churchNEW This view of Exwick from about 1925 shows the heart of the village. The war memorial is relatively new, while the Steam Laundry to the rear is, with the Exwick Mill, the largest employer in the village. The Lamb Inn was also at the centre of the community.

Vicars tea party 1912Detail of 1912 photoThis photograph was found in a very faded condition in the church. The front mount had been removed and there was no glass. It is an original albumen print, originally thought to be the celebration of the Coronation in 1902. Further research revealed it to be the leaving party for the vicar Rev. L. P. Williams-Freeman MA in 1912. He was appointed as the fourth vicar of the village in 1897. The event is being held in the garden of the vicarage, and Exwick School can be seen on the other side of the wall. Many are wearing rosettes while some just simple ribbons on their lapels.

Exwick leat in the villageThe leat flowed through the centre of the village, under the County Steam Laundry, which retained its water wheel until the building was demolished in 1980. The Village Inn was the Lamb when this postcard was for sale, and the familiar black and white post office and store on the corner of Exwick Hill still exists. The photograph is taken from the bridge that led to the gardens of Exe View Cottages – the bridge was the site of Gibbs, Banfill and Granger's woollen mill and flax factory which finally burnt down in 1869.

H G GreenBorn at 4 Rackfield Terrace, Hermon George Green was the son of John James Green, a wagoner for Mallett's Mill. Hermon George went to Exwick School under the headship of A H Rousham. After he left school, Hermon George also worked as a wagoner, but for the County Steam Laundry. On Whit-Monday 1914, he won a 2nd Prize Medal, a red ribbon and 15 shillings for his horse and cart entry in the annual Exeter Cart Horse Parade – the horse and cart belonged to J L Thomas and Son, candle makers and oil merchants. Hermon George Green was a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery before he was killed in action on the 30th November 1917. He is buried in the Hermies British Cemetery. His name can be found on the village war memorial. Photo and biography of Hermon George Green courtesy of Margaret Jones.

Mother and son, ExwickRight is Mrs Mary Anne Hill and her son Reginald Thomas outside 6 Exwick Hill, below the Square, in about 1910. Reginald, whose father was Robert Hill, was about 12 years old when the photo was taken. Reginald was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. He was in the Hampshire Regiment when he was killed in action at Ypres, on the 20th September 1917 aged 19. He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Reginald's brother in law, Ernest John Scriven, who was born in Chard, was married to his sister Edie, and was killed on the 1st September 1917. Both names are on the village war memorial. The Hill family lived in Foxhayes Farm in 1901, when Robert Hill was a cattleman for John Kerslake, the farmer.

Unveiling of the war memorialRemembrance 2009This photograph, of the unveiling of the Exwick War Memorial, turned up at a meeting of the Exwick Local History Group. It was in very poor condition and needed restoration. At least two of the crowd appear in the vicar's tea party photo above. It is thought that the woman on the right is Mrs Mary Hill, who appears above right with her son Reginald. Sadly, Reginald, and Hermon George Green, also above, were two of the names on the memorial when it was unveiled on 26 June 1920. Photo courtesy of Bob Wathen. Photo right shows the 11 November 2009 Remembrance Service with the Rev Bird.

A crowd watches the workLowering one side of the bridge into placeDuring the building of the flood channel in 1974, Station Road and the bridge crossing the Exe were swept away in another flood, damaging the banks of the uncompleted channel. A temporary footbridge was quickly installed and then, a year later, the new bridge was lowered into place. The photo right shows some locals watching the work – the temporary bridge can be seen right. One of the side beams is being lowered onto its supports in the photo of the left. Photo courtesy of Bob Wathen.

Exwick from the air circa 1960This photo from about 1960 of Exwick from the air, shows the centre of the village with many familiar buildings. The old post office and Lamb Inn (Village Inn) centre left and Exwick House centre , bottom third still exist. The large County Steam Laundry is hard to miss, and yet, if you drive past the spot now, it is impossible to imagine its existence. The leat flowing right to left can be traced and most of the houses on Exwick Hill still exist.

Exwick  from the air - circa 2001After 1960, Exeter grew, with new estates constructed on the hills to the west. This aerial photo from about 2001 shows part of the same area of the village as the previous photos. The County Steam Laundry has gone, and the edge of Kinnerton Way can be seen in the bottom left. However, certain buildings remain; the church, the old vicarage, the post office and cottages and the Hermitage on Exwick Hill can all be discerned.

Exwick football team 1919The vicar was very involved with the football team in former times – this photograph of the team was taken in 1919. They have a small trophy on display at the front.

The football team in 1927Another football team from Exwick, this time in 1927. There are now three trophies on show, all larger than the 1919 cup, although it is not certain whether this means they are beating better teams.

Exwick lads in the 1930sMade it Ma, Top of the World! These six lads in their natty suits and hats are sitting on the public bench in the children's playground. Their style is very much, 1930s gangster, picked up from a few trips, with their broads, to the local fleapit in town. To the rear, across Station Road is Exe View Cottages.

Dennis Hammond by the Exwick fountainThere was once a public drinking fountain by the wall, where St Andrews and Exwick Road meet, opposite Station Road. It displayed the date 1887 and VR, indicating it was installed for the Golden Jubilee of the illustrious Queen, along with 1897, added for her Diamond Jubilee. A young Dennis Hammond is standing next to the fountain. There is a still a lamp post in that position, but the wall has been rebuilt and as for the fountain – where that has gone, no one knows, although for sure, it would have been smashed to pieces, years ago, by the passing traffic if it had not been removed.

The Scant brothersKenneth, Leslie and Gordon Scant at Exwick Hill in 1947. Les Scant was brought to Exwick as a child in 1939. Here he relates his memories of Exwick at War. Also see Tony Lethbridge's memories of a bomb over Exwick.

Workers at Delaney and GalleyOld Bakery Close is on the site of the Hill, Palmer and Edwards 'Mothers Pride' bakery. The bakery itself occupied the site of Delaney and Gallay, a munitions factory that was sited there at the outbreak of World War Two. The company manufactured aircraft parts, including the Barracuda bomber, one of the aircraft types that was used in the action to sink the Tirpitz battleship in a Norwegian fjord – so Exwick sank the Tirpitz! The management, and what looks like the office staff, pose for a photo sometime during the war years.

The Lamb and County Steam LaundryThis photograph was probably taken in the late 1940s. The Village Inn is still called the Lamb, and the County Steam Laundry behind, occupied a former fulling and paper mill. It was demolished in 1980.

Celebation the Coronation 1952Another Coronation, another celebration by the people of Exwick. Not nearly so formal as 1902, this photograph was taken in 1953 for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The social structure is more homogenised as more people own their own homes, or live in housing provided by the railways or the City Council. The old feudal system ended when the Buller's of Downes sold off most of their holdings in Exwick during 1922.

Exwick cricket teamThe cricket team show off an enormous shield sometime, I believe, in the 1960s. The pitch was behind Mildmay Close, and the Health Centre. There was even a cricket pavilion, but it was swept away in a flood.

Bakery vans in Exwick RoadTwice during 1960, Exwick along with St Thomas, and many other places in the Exe Valley, suffered severe flooding. The bakery was flooded, causing the Hill Palmer and Edwards delivery lorries and vans to park up along Exwick Road from Foxhayes towards the cemetery. See Mike Ewing's memories of Exwick's floods.

Children parade down Exwick Hill - 1950sThe 1950s were a very different time to the early 21st century. Neighbours knew each other and there were more Exwick events. Here a parade of children sometime in the 1950s walk down St Andrews Road, with the County Steam Laundry behind, probably for a carnival or church event.

Children parade by the post office - 1950sAlso in the 1950s, more children parade past the post office.

Children in Exwick HillIt is thought that the Boy's Brigade were involved in this parade, also from the 50s. There are still some living in Exwick who remember these events, and recognise themselves or friends in the photos.

June 1966The village fete in 1966, was held in the vicarage gardens. The vicar at the time was the Rev. Michael C Boyes.

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